GD427 in action

GD427 in action

Saturday, 26 May 2012

More carpets

Finished sticking the carpet down on the transmission tunnel, this is now stuck all the way along the top and down both sides. The only tricky bit I had was cutting out for the gearstick. First I marked the edges of the hole with chalk and then by pressing the carpet down, it transferred the chalk line and left a mark where to cut.

Cut out and stuck down

Followed a similar method for marking out around the extended footwell.

And then just because I'm starting to trip over things and needed to get them out of the way I loosely placed the seats in and mounted the dash and the moment I did, I instantly had two little helpers ! Still it's gives a great idea of how it's going to look and I must admit, after they'd gone I did have a little sit in it myself :-)


I've finished extending the wiring for the heated seats, which will run under the carpet so it was time to glue the first piece in. This lies along the transmission tunnel from the rear right up to the front bulkhead and under where the dash will mount. The support bar which runs across the car between the windscreen legs bolts down onto the transmission tunnel so I needed to make some holes for the bolts to pass through. In order to mark them accurately I cut down a couple of bolts and cut a slot in the end so I could fix them with a screwdriver into some jacknuts I'd previously fitted as securing points.

Leaving them a little proud and placing the carpet over the top allowed me to make an indentation in the underside of the carpet by tapping the area lightly with a wooden mallet.

A hole was then made using a punch and after a little double/triple checking, the carpet was glued down.

I used a plastic spreader (hotel room key card) to spread the glue over the two surfaces which gave a good even coverage and worked really well. Once the carpet was stuck in, I could put the support bars back and bolt it down using some washers as spacers between it and the carpet.

Dash Leather pt 1.

After I'd let the glue set I turned my attention to the ends which needed to have small V section cut into the edge to allow it to curve around the corner. It was a bit fiddly especially the the very last end piece which needs to tuck back and overlap itself but it worked out OK. There was also a little trimming required where the leather overlapped some of the holes for the gauges.

Next step was to cut some holes and fit the gauges. I must admit this was one of those jobs where I was just going to do one and see what it looked like. From the rear, I divided the holes into 16th's and using a Stanley knife carefully cut through the leather stopping about 5mm from the edge of the hole. I should've known better especially after reading other accounts of this part of the build, once you start, you just can't stop yourself

For the time being I haven't glued the tabs down on the rear yet, I wanted to see how the leather sat before I decided how much tension to put into it. In the pictures, I've just pushed the gauges through the holes, I haven't pulled on the tabs at all and it looks about right so I'll try and stick them down as they are. I'm using Evostick time bond which gives you a few chances to get it right before committing yourself, that's perfect for me !

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bit more dash

I'm waiting on some wiring to extend the heated seat loom before I start on the carpets. Meanwhile I've pressed ahead with the dash. I started off by placing the dash blank on the foam, drawing round it allowing for a little extra to wrap around the edges and then cutting it out. With hindsight, I feel than sticking the foam to the dash first and cutting it out after would have been easier. The reason being that the foam stretches and after I'd cut it out I realised that it wasn't exactly straight when I drew round the blank so after I'd cut it out it was slightly banana shaped and royal pain in the proverbial to line up with the dash afterwards, especially once I'd covered both pieces in evostick and the magnetic like attraction this stuff seems to have towards anything within reach. Got myself in a right old state !

Anyway, once the foam was stuck on I cut out the holes for the various gauges and switches. I found it left a neater hole by cutting the holes out from the back rather than the front. I think the main reason for this is that the foam has a net like covering on the side which is stuck to the dash and cutting through this first, from the back, seemed to give a firmer surface to cut against so providing a cleaner cut. After that, I pressed on and stuck the leather on as well. The leather is only glued around the edge on the reverse side so it can stretch across the face. You can see a vertical line left in the middle of the dash which is ironically, where I hung the leather over a coat hanger to get rid of any creases ! Two hours later as I type this, the line has all but disappeared and is coincidently right through the middle of the area I need to cut out for the gauges so there's plenty of opportunity to pull this area tight if need be. Not the most enjoyable part of the build for me but quite pleased how it's turning out so far. Next step will be to finish the ends which I've chosen to leave until the rest of the glue has dried, then I have to cut out the holes in the leather for the switches and gauges etc.

With the sun setting and a picture taken at an angle, it's never going to look worse than this. All in all I'm quite pleased... and relieved !

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Well, couldn't help myself, here's a picture of all the carpet laid out. Looking back at it, I think some of the pieces laid across the front should fit at the rear in the boot but I'll work it all out when the time comes.

And then just for fun, I laid the centre section in to see what it would look like. There's been a few milestone moments during this build when you look back and say to yourself, "it's really starting to look like a car now!" Well this was another one.

The loose wiring you can see is as result of removing the screen brace and dashboard support which have to come out to fit the carpet.

Interior's here.....!

The interior has arrived. I was going to lay it all out and take a picture but there's so much carpet it wouldn't all fit in the lounge. Perhaps if we have a nice day I'll lay it out on the drive and take a picture. I'm sure it'll start to make sense as I start to put it in but at the moment I just can't imagine where it all goes. Anyway, here's a picture of the seats. I moved slightly away from tradition and went for the optional headrests. This was mainly for the safety aspect which would be maintained no matter the position of the seat rather than rely on head rests mounted to the roll bars. The other reason was that I plan to enjoy using this car with the whole family including my two daughters, when the eldest sat in the seats her head was above the height of the seat back but not high enough to make use of a roll bar mounted head rest which placed the back of her head directly in line with the rear edge of the cockpit. It would only take her to hurt herself once to spoil the whole experience for me so better safe than sorry.

Other than the vast amount of the carpet, the other surprise I had was that the heating elements I had fitted into the seats came with their own wiring loom as part of the kit. The past weeks of planning and head scratching over how I was going to wire these in with all the different relay options, switches, wire sizes etc wasn't necessary. I may have to extend some of the wires but that side of the build now seems very straightforward. The next step will be to cover the dash blank with a layer of foam and then leather before cutting out all the holes for switches, gauges etc. Hopefully I'll get to that this week and then in with the carpet. I guess it's time to start thinking about IVA !

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dashboard mock up

I should be receiving the interior trim in the next week or so. In preparation I mocked up the dashboard by fitting all the switches gauges and warning lights. I'll need to make some of the holes a little bigger to allow clearance around the gauges for the leather facing and the dash needs to be thinned a little on the back where the switches mount as it's too thick to get the fixing nuts on otherwise. I also need to make the holes a little bigger for the warning lights as they won't quite push home. An easy fix which I'll tackle over the weekend.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Into the daylight

No real progress today, spent most of it catching up on some DIY but it did give me a chance to get the car down off it's axle stands where it's been since last October, partly to stop any problems arising with the tyres sat in one place over winter but also to give me some access underneath.

It's the first time it's been outside for 6 months and I've not had a chance to really see the effect of all the small changes I've made during this time. Was nice to see it all coming together so I took a few pictures for the record.